- 25g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 2 shallot, finely chopped
Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 100ml white wine
- 1 medium leek, chopped
Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…
- 1 medium parsnip, diced
The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise - it looks just…
- 1 large carrot, diced
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 1 swede, diced
A member of the cabbage family, the swede is often confused with the turnip, though they look…
- 1l vegetable stock
- 100g mature cheddar, grated
- 1 ciabatta loaf or small baguette, cut into 8 thin slices
For the pesto
- 25g pack flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 25g pack chives, finely chopped
- 25g finely grated vegetarian Parmesan -style cheese
Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…
- 2 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts, chopped
- olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the shallots and cook for 5 mins until soft, then add the garlic and cook for 1 min more. Pour in the wine and simmer until reduced, then add the vegetables and cook for 2-3 mins.
Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 mins until the vegetables are soft. Meanwhile, to make the pesto, mix all the ingredients together with enough olive oil to make a thickish paste. Season.
To make the toasts, put the grated cheese in a bowl and mix together with 2-3 tsp of the pesto. Heat grill. Put the ciabatta slices under the grill and toast on both sides. Remove, top with the herby cheese mixture, then grill until melted.
Season the soup well and serve with the cheesy pesto toasts and remaining pesto, for drizzling.